The Disconnected Connection

Posted: August 7, 2016 in Family, Humour
Tags: , , , , , ,

running     Sometimes, it pays not to read your emails.

Yes, I know that is an odd statement to begin with, but wait! There’s more!

I remember a time, not so long ago, when we had dial-up for internet, and when the little announcement ‘you’ve got mail!’ trumpeted, you got all excited. ‘Lord, I’ve got the vapors!’ you would declare, then open the message, usually something from Aunt Gertrude telling you about her gout, or uncle Fred about his hernia, or a long-lost friend who got you email address and decided to contact you in case your spouse had passed and were still interested in them. Now, it’s mostly spam messages, or some dude in Nairobi trying to see if you want a share in the $120 million he needs to unfreeze, or from Aunt Gertrude asking why you haven’t responded to her messages and can you please help her figure out how to use her computer.

Which leads me to why I began with NOT reading your emails.

We just came back from a wonderful vacation to Jasper, Alberta. We almost always booked our flights the same way; we would drive from Jasper to Calgary, then fly from Calgary to Toronto, have a 2 to 3 hour layover, then fly Toronto to North Bay. A long day to be sure. But definitely do-able. But our day didn’t go quite as planned this time. First, we had great difficulty finding a gas station to fill up our rental vehicle in order to return it at the airport. This cost us almost an hour, because the gas station we usually used was completely gone. But we made it. We returned the vehicle, then made our way into the airport, through security, and into the waiting lounge with about an hour to spare.

As we sat there waiting, the PA announced that our flight was delayed an hour or so due to the plane not arriving on time. An hour or so isn’t bad, I thought. It turned out to be more like two hours by the time we left the tarmac. Still, there was time. No layover in Toronto, per se, but still time.

‘What does all this have to do with emails?’ you ask yourselves while eating your cucumber sandwiches. Well, here it is….here is the moment where it pays NOT to read your emails. Behold the moment of truth! Let the trumpets blare and the drums roll!! Let He Who Shall Not Be Named proclaim from on high to those who will listen that this moment is the moment of moments, and you shall now hear for yourselves the very reason that there are times NOT to read your emails.

When we finally landed, service was restored to my iPhone, and messages came flooding in. And I scanned the he subject headings: Best Buy was telling me there was no better time to buy a laptop. There was an invoice from Union Gas. Some guy in Nairobi wanted to share his winning with me. And Air Canada was telling me my flight was delayed. Like I didn’t know that!! It was delayed in Calgary and you are telling me that now!?!? Well, I didn’t have time anyways…..we had 20 minutes to run from one end of the terminal to the other end where our flight to North Bay was awaiting. We knew by this time that our luggage would not likely follow us until the next day, but we could live with that. We just had to run like the dickens to make our flight!

For those who are familiar with me, and more particular my body and lifestyle habits, then you know that running across the terminal doesn’t necessarily come naturally to me. A quick lope is more akin to my tastes. Perhaps a brisk saunter. But not a run. Couple that with the atrophy of my muscles because of all that sitting, and what you have is something best described as ‘A herd of panicking unfit pot-bellied pigs’ galloping hither and yon. But even pot-bellied pigs have victories. Somehow we managed to make it to our gate, out of breath, sweaty, panicked, but nonetheless there.

The plane was there, doors still open, suitcases being put into the cargo hold…..and the lady that was at the gate said ‘Oh, you needn’t had run…..we’ve already removed you from this flight.’ We were gobsmacked. We were stunned. Thunderously so. And what followed was an Academy Award-winning session of groveling and begging and cajoling, all in an effort to get on this plane. And after 5 long and painful minutes, she managed to convince the pilot and the airline to allow us through the secure doors and onto our flight. She was awesome.

And so…..we sat on the plane. We were exhausted. We were sweaty. The stewardess brought us water. And as we sat there suddenly in the vacuum of time we had before takeoff, I checked my emails again. I decided to read the Air Canada ones. And looking at them I realized why it was a good thing I had not in the first place. They told me that we had been bumped to the 9am flight the following morning. Had I read this, we would never have run across the terminal in our own version of the Amazing Race, we would have had to sleep in the terminal which is not the least bit comfortable, and we would have had abject panic on our hands.

As predicted, our luggage did not make it until the next morning…..but it did make it. More importantly our bodies made it on time. Not the best way to end an awesome vacation, but in another way, it was an excellent way to end it.

What a family!


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